Skip to main content

Full text of "The rape of the lock : an heroi-comical poem in five cantos"

See other formats
















ILl N E /^^^®^^^^103 O 

55 P°P« (A'-)- The Rape of the Lock : an Heroi-Con.ical Poem, in Five Cantos. 
If ///;. 9 illmiratwns by Anbyev Beanhlcv. 

B.«5S,'S:™"ioS; %^'''- ''""'''''' ^''^- '^-Sn in goM by Aubrey 


49 I'fte iiariy 


WOI'K ui n.uui%>j "— 

i8o 'illustrations and 2 portraits. 
John Lane, 1899- 
The Later Work of Aubrey Beardsley. 

170 illustrations, including 5 in colour and 

II in photogravure. {Also having 

/Cj . "fu^s. . /^. 

omm mm bf a,, 

100 McCAUL ST 


The Rape of the Lock 

The Rape of the Lock 







"Noluerara, Belinda, tuos violare capillos ; 

Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tiibuisse tuis." — Mart. 

" A tonso est hoc nomen adepta capillo." — Ovid. 





f ^ro 









1. The Dream title page 

2. The Billet-Doux i 

3. The Toilet 6 

4. The Baron's Prayer 8 

5. The Barge 10 

6. The Rape of the Lock 20 

7. The Cave of Spleen 24 

8. The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles ... 34 

9. The New Star 38 


THE RAPE OF THE LOCK was first published 
in the year 17 12, by Bernard Lintott, at the sign of 
the Cross- Keys, between the two Temple Gates, Fleet 
Street. It was then in two cantos. It was occasioned by 
a frolic, carried rather beyond the bounds of good breeding, 
in which Lord Petre cut off a lock of Mrs. Arabella Fermor's 
hair. The poem was undertaken at Mr. Caryl's request 
(see Pope's notes), in order to reconcile the two families, 
this incident having caused a considerable estrangement 
between them. 

The great success of this jeu d'esprit induced Pope to 
extend it from the original two cantos — comprising some 
330 lines — to five, by the addition of the " machinery " of 
Sylphs and Gnomes. 

Those readers anxious to be acquainted with the original 
form of the work will find its extent indicated in the 
author's notes to the poem, which is here printed in its 
extended form, with Pope's final revisions. 



IT will be vain to deny that I have some Value for this 
Piece, since I dedicate it to You. Yet You may bear 
me Witness, it was intended only to divert a few young 
Ladies, who have good Sense and good Humour enough, 
to laugh not only at their Sex's little unguarded Follies, 
but at their own. But as it was communicated with the 
Air of a Secret, it soon found its Way into the World. An 
imperfect Copy having been offered to a Bookseller, You 
had the Good-Nature for my Sake to consent to the 
Publication of one more correct : This I was forced to 
before I had executed half my Design, for the Machinery 
was entirely wanting to compleat it. 

The Machinery, Madam, is a term invented by the 
Criticks, to signify that Part which the Deities, Angels, 
or Daemons, are made to act in a Poem : For the ancient 
Poets are in one Respect like many modern Ladies : Let 
an Action be never so trivial in itself, they always make it 


appear of the utmost Importance. These Machines I 
determin'd to raise on a very new and odd Foundation, 
the Rosicrucian Doctrine of Spirits. 

I know how disagreeable it is to make use of hard 
Words before a Lady : but 'tis so much the Concern of a 
Poet to have his Works understood, and particularly by 
your Sex, that You must give me leave to explain two or 
three difficult Terms. 

The Rosicrucians are a People I must bring You 
acquainted with. The best Account I know of them is in a 
French Book called Le Comte de Gabalis, which both in its 
Title and Size is so like a Novel, that many of the Fair 
Sex have read it for one by Mistake. According to these 
Gentlemen the four Elements are inhabited by Spirits, 
which they call Sylphs, Gnomes, Nymphs, and Salamanders. 
The Gnomes, or Daemons of Earth, delight in Mischief: 
but the Sylphs, whose Habitation is Air, are the best-condi- 
tioned Creatures imaginable. For they say, any Mortals 
may enjoy the most intimate Familiarities with these gentle 
Spirits, upon a Condition very easy to all true Adepts, an 
inviolate Preservation of Chastity. 

As to the following Canto's, all the Passages of them are 
as Fabulous, as the Vision at the Beginning, or the Trans- 


formation at the End; (except the Loss of your Hair, 
which I always name with Reverence.) The Human 
Persons are as Fictitious as the Airy ones ; and the 
Character of Belinda, as it is now manag'd, resembles You 
in nothing but in Beauty. 

If this Poem had as many Graces as there are in Your 
Person, or in Your Mind, yet I could never hope it should 
pass thro' the World half so Uncensured as You have done. 
But let its Fortune be what it will, mine is happy enough, 
to have given me this Occasion of assuring You that I am, 
with the truest Esteem, 


Your most Obedient 
Humble Servant, 






WHAT dire Offence from am'rous Causes springs, 
What mighty Contests rise from trivial Things, 
I sing — This verse to Caryl, Muse ! is due ; 
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view : 



Slight is the Subject, but not so the Praise, 5 

If She inspire, and He approve, my Lays. 

Say what strange Motive, Goddess ! cou'd compel 
A well-bred Lord t' assault a gentle Belle ? 
Oh say what stranger Cause, yet unexplor'd, 
Cou'd make a gentle Belle reject a Lord? 10 

In tasks so bold, can little Men engage, 
And in soft Bosoms, dwell such mighty Rage ? 

Sol through white Curtains shot a tim'rous Ray, 
And ope'd those Eyes that must eclipse the Day : 
Now Lap-dogs give themselves the rouzing Shake, 15 

And sleepless Lovers, just at Twelve, awake : 
Thrice rung the Bell, the Slipper knock'd the Ground, 
And the press'd Watch return'd a silver sound, 
Belinda still her downy Pillow prest, 

Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest. 20 

'Twas he had summon'd to her silent Bed 
The Morning Dream that hover'd o'er her Head. 
A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-night Beau 
(That ev'n in slumber caus'd her Cheek to glow) 
Seem'd to her Ear his winning Lips to lay, 25 

And thus in Whispers said, or seemed to say. 

Fairest of Mortals, thou distinguish'd Care 


Of thousand bright Inhabitants of Air! 

If e'er one Vision touch'd thy infant Thought, 

Of all the Nurse and all the Priest have taught, 30 

Of airy Elves by Moonlight Shadows seen, 

The silver Token, and the Circled Green, 

Or Virgins visited by Angel-pow'rs 

With Golden Crowns and Wreaths of heav'nly Flow'rs ; 

Hear and believe ! thy own Importance know, 35 

Nor bound thy narrow Views to things below. 

Some secret Truths, from Learned Pride conceal'd. 

To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd : 

What tho' no Credit doubting Wits may give ? 

The Fair and Innocent shall still believe. 40 

Know then, unnumber'd Spirits round thee fly. 

The light Militia of the lower sky : 

These, tho' unseen, are ever on the Wing, 

Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Rhig. 

Think what an Equipage thou hast in Air, 45 

And view with scorn Two Pages and a Chair. 

As now your own, our Beings were of old, 

And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous Mold ; 

Thence, by a soft Transition, we repair 

From earthly Vehicles to these of Air. 50 

Think not, when Woman's transient Breath is fled. 

That all her Vanities at once are dead. 



Succeeding Vanities she still regards, 

And tho' she plays no more, o'erlooks the Cardg. 

Her Joy in gilded Chariots, when alive, 55 

And love of Ombre, after Death survive. 

For when the Fair in all their Pride expire, 

To their first Elements the Souls retire : 

The Sprites of fiery Termagants in Flame 

Mount up, and take a Salamander s name. 60 

Soft yielding Minds to Water glide away. 

And sip, with Nymphs, their elemental Tea. 

The graver Prude sinks downward to a Gnome, 

In search of Mischief still on Earth to roam. 

The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair, 65 

And sport and flutter in the Fields of Air. 

Know further yet ; Whoever fair and chaste 
Rejects Mankind, is by some Sylph embrac'd : 
For Spirits, freed from mortal Laws, with ease 
Assume what Sexes and what Shapes they please. 70 

What guards the Purity of melting Maids, 
In Courtly Balls, and Midnight Masquerades, 
Safe from the treach'rous Friend, the daring Spark, 
The Glance by Day, the Whisper in the Dark ; 
When kind Occasion prompts their warm Desires, 75 

When Music softens, and when Dancing fires .-* 


'Tis but their Sylph, the wise Celestials know, 
Tho' Honour is the Word with Men below. 

Some Nymphs there are, too conscious of their Face, 
For Life predestin'd to the Gnomes Embrace. 80 

Who swell their Prospects and exalt their Pride, 
When Offers are disdain'd, and Love deny'd. 
Then gay Ideas crowd the vacant Brain, 
While Peers and Dukes, and all their sweeping Train, 
And Garters, Stars, and Coronets appear, 85 

And in soft sounds, Yotir Grace salutes their Ear. 
'Tis these that early taint the Female Soul, 
Instruct the eyes of young Coquettes to roll, 
Teach Infant Cheeks a bidden Blush to know. 
And little Hearts to flutter at a Beau. 90 

Oft when the World imagine Women stray. 
The Sylphs through Mystic mazes guide their Way. 
Thro' all the giddy Circle they pursue, 
And old Impertinence expel by new. 

What tender Maid but must a Victim fall 95 

To one Man's Treat, but for another's Ball ? 
When Florio speaks, what Virgin could withstand, 
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her Hand ? 
With varying Vanities, from ev'ry Part, 


They shift the moving Toyshop of their Heart ; loo 

Where Wigs with Wigs, with Sword-knots Sword-knots 

Beaux banish Beaux, and Coaches Coaches drive. 
This erring Mortals Levity may call. 
Oh blind to Truth ! the Sylphs contrive it all. 

Of these am I, who thy Protection claim, 105 

A watchful Sprite, and Ariel is my Name. 
Late, as I rang'd the crystal Wilds of Air, 
In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star 
I saw, alas ! some dread Event impend, 
Ere to the Main this morning's Sun descend, no 

But Heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where : 
Warn'd by thy Sylph, oh pious Maid beware ! 
This to disclose is all thy Guardian can. 
Beware of all, but most beware of Man ! 

He said : when Shock, who thought she slept too long, 
Leap'd up, and wak'd his Mistress with his Tongue. 116 
'Twas then, Belinda ! if Report say true. 
Thy Eyes first open'd on a Billet-doux ; 
Wounds, Charms, and Ardors, were no sooner read. 
But all the Vision vanish'd from thy Head. 120 

And now, unveil'd, the Toilet stands display'd. 
Each Silver Vase in mystic Order laid. 


First, rob'd in White, the Nymph intent adores 

With Head uncover'd, the Cosmetic Pow'rs. 

A heav'nly Image in the Glass appears, 125 

To that she bends, to that her Eyes she rears ; 

Th' inferior Priestess, at her Altar's side. 

Trembling, begins the sacred Rites of Pride. 

Unnumber'd Treasures ope at once, and here 

The various Off'rings of the World appear; 130 

From each she nicely culls with curious Toil, 

And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring Spoil. 

This Casket India s glowing Gems unlocks. 

And all Arabia breathes from yonder Box. 

The Tortoise here and Elephant unite, 135 

Transform'd to Catnbs, the speckled and the white. 

Here Files of Pins extend their shining Rows, 

Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux. 

Now awful Beauty puts on all its Arms ; 

The Fair each moment rises in her Charms, 140 

Repairs her Smiles, awakens ev'ry Grace, 

And calls forth all the Wonders of her Face ; 

Sees by Degrees a purer Blush arise, 

And keener Lightnings quicken in her Eyes. 

The busy Sylphs surround their darling Care ; 145 

These set the Head, and those divide the Hair, 

Some fold the Sleeve, whilst others plait the Gown ; 

And Bettys prais'd for labours not her own. 


NOT with more Glories, in th' Ethereal Plain, 
The Sun first rises o'er the purpled Main, 
Than issuing forth, the Rival of his Beams 
Launch'd on the Bosom of the Silver Thames. 
Fair Nymphs, and well-drest Youths around her shone, s 
But ev'ry Eye was fix'd on her alone. 
On her white Breast a sparkling Cross she wore, 
Which yi?w^ might kiss, and Infidels adore. 
Her lively Looks a sprightly Mind disclose, 
Quick as her Eyes, and as unfix'd as those : ro 

Favours to none, to all she Smiles extends, 
Oft she rejects, but never once offends. 
Bright as the Sun, her Eyes the Gazers strike. 
And, like the Sun, they shine on all alike. 
Yet graceful Ease, and Sweetness void of Pride, 15 

Might hide her Faults, if Belles had Faults to hide : 
If to her share some Female Errors fall. 
Look on her Face, and you'll forget 'em all. 

This Nymph, to the Destruction of Mankind, 

CANTO 11 9 

Nourish'd two Locks which graceful hung behind io 

In equal Curls, and well conspir'd to deck 

With shining Ringlets the smooth Iv'ry Neck. 

Love in these Labyrinths his Slaves detains, 

And mighty Hearts are held in slender Chains. 

With hairy sprindges we the Birds betray, 25 

Slight lines of Hair surprise the Finny Prey, 

Fair Tresses Man's Imperial Race insnare. 

And Beauty draws us with a single Hair. 

Th' Advent'rous Baron the bright Locks admir'd, 
He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd : 30 

Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way. 
By Force to ravish, or by Fraud betray ; 
For when Success a Lover's Toil attends. 
Few ask, if Fraud or Force attain'd his Ends. 

For this, ere Phosbus rose, he had implor'd 35 

Propitious Heav'n, and ev'ry Pow'r ador'd, 
But chiefly Love — to Love an Altar built, 
Of twelve Vcist French Romances, neatly gilt. 
There lay three Garters, half a Pair of Gloves, 
And all the Trophies of his former Loves. 40 

With tender Billet-doux he lights the Pyre, 
And breathes three am'rous Sighs to raise the Fire. 



Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent Eyes 

Soon to obtain, and long possess the Prize : 

The Pow'rs gave Ear, and granted half his Pray'r, 45 

The rest, the Winds dispers'd in empty Air. 

But now secure the painted Vessel glides, 
The Sun-beams trembling on the floating Tydes, 
While melting Musick steals upon the Sky, 
And soften'd Sounds along the Waters die. 50 

Smooth flow the Waves, the Zephyrs gently play, 
Belinda smil'd, and all the World was gay. 
All but the Sylph — With careful Thoughts opprest, 
Th' Impending Woe sat heavy on his Breast. 
He summons straight his Denizens of Air ; 55 

The lucid Squadrons round the Sails repair : 
Soft o'er the Shrouds Aerial Whispers breath, 
That seem'd but Zephyrs to the Train beneath. 
Some to the Sun their Insect- Wings unfold. 
Waft on the Breeze, or sink in Clouds of Gold. 60 

Transparent Forms, too fine for mortal Sight, 
Their fluid Bodies half dissolv'd in Light. 
Loose to the Wind their airy Garments flew, 
Thin glitt'ring Textures of the filmy Dew ; 
Dipt in the richest Tincture of the Skies, 65 

Where Light disports in ever-mingling Dies, 


While ev'ry Beam new transient Colours flings, 

Colours that change whene'er they wave their Wings. 

Amid the Circle, on the gilded mast, 

Superiour by the Head, was Ariel plac'd ; 70 

His Purple Pinions op'ning to the Sun, 

He rais'd his Azure Wand, and thus begun. 

Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your Chief give ear, 
Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Daemons hear ! 
Ye know the Spheres and various Tasks assign'd 75 

By Laws Eternal to th' Aerial Kind. 
Some in the Fields of purest Aether play. 
And bask and whiten in the Blaze of Day. 
Some guide the Course of wand' ring Orbs on high, 
On roll the Planets through the boundless Sky. 80 

Some less refin'd, beneath the Moon's pale Light 
Pursue the Stars that shoot athwart the Night ; 
Or suck the Mists in grosser Air below. 
Or dip their Pinions in the painted Bow, 
Or brew fierce Tempests on the wintry Main, 85 

Or o'er the Glebe distil the kindly Rain. 
Others on Earth o'er human Race preside, 
Watch all their Ways, and all their Actions guide : 
Of these the Chief the Care of Nations own. 
And guard with Arms Divine the British Throne. 90 


Our humbler Province is to tend the Fair, 
Not a less pleasing, tho' less glorious Care. 
To save the Powder from too rude a Gale, 
Nor let th' imprison'd Essences exhale ; 
To draw fresh Colours from the vernal Flow'rs, 95 

To steal from Rainbows ere they drop in Show'rs 
A brighter Wash ; to curl their waving Hairs, 
Assist their Blushes, and inspire their Airs ; 
Nay oft, in Dreams, Invention we bestow. 
To change a Flounce^ or add a Furbelo ! 100 

This Day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair 
That e'er deserv'd a watchful Spirit's Care ; 
Some dire Disaster, or by Force, or Slight, 
But what, or where, the Fates have wrapt in Night. 
Whether the Nymph shall break Dianas law, 105 

Or some frail China jar receive a Flaw, 
Or stain her Honour, or her new Brocade, 
Forget her Pray'rs, or miss a Masquerade, 
Or lose her Heart, or Necklace, at a Ball ; 
Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall. no 
Haste then ye Spirits ! to your Charge repair ; 
The flutt'ring Fan be Zephyretta s Care ; 
The Drops to thee, Brillante, we consign ; 
And, Momentilla, let t;he Watch be thine ; 


Do thou, Crispissa, tend her fav'rite Lock ; 115 

Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock. 

To Fifty chosen Sylphs, of special Note, 
We trust th' important Charge, the Petticoat : 
Oft have we known that sev'nfold Fence to fail, 
Tho' stiff with Hoops, and arm'd with Ribs of Whale. 120 
Form a strong Line about the Silver Bound, 
And guard the wide Circumference around. 

Whatever Spirit, careless of his Charge, 
His Post neglects, or leave the Fair at large, 
Shall feel sharp Vengeance soon o'ertake his Sins, 125 

Be stop'd in Vials, or transfixt with Pins ; 
Or plung'd in Lakes of bitter Washes lie, 
Or wedg'd whole Ages in a Bodkins Eye : 
Gums and Pomatums shall his Flight restrain, 
While clog'd he beats his silken Wings in vain ; 130 

Or hXomrStypticks with contracting Pow'r 
Shrink his thin Essence like a rivell'd Flower. 
Or, as Ixion fix'd, the Wretch shall feel 
The giddy Motion of the whirling Mill, 
Midst Fumes of burning Chocolate shall glow, 135 

And tremble at the Sea that froaths below ! 


He spoke ; the Spirits from the Sails descend ; 
Some, Orb in Orb, around the Nymph extend, 
Some thrid the mazy Ringlets of her Hair, 
Some hang upon the Pendants of her Ear ; 140 

With beating Hearts the dire Event they wait. 
Anxious, and trembling for the Birth of Fate. 


CLOSE by those Meads for ever crown'd with Flow'rs, 
Where Thames with Pride surveys his rising Tow'rs, 
There stands a Structure of Majestic Fame, 
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its Name. 
Here Britain s Statesmen oft the Fall foredoom s 

Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home ; 
Here Thou, great Anna ! whom three Realms obey, 
Dost sometimes Counsel take — and sometimes Tea. 

Hither the Heroes and the Nymphs resort, 
To taste awhile the Pleasures of a Court ; lo 

In various Talk th' instructive Hours they past, 
Who gave a Ball, or paid the Visit last : 
One speaks the Glory of the British Queen, 
And one describes a charming Indian Screen ; 
A third interprets Motions, Looks, and Eyes ; 15 

At every Word a Reputation dies. 
Snuff, or the Fan, supply each Pause of Chat, 
With singing, laughing, ogling, atid all that. 


Mean while, declining from the Noon of Day, 

The Sun obliquely shoots his burning Ray ; 20 

The hungry Judges soon the Sentence sign. 

And Wretches hang that Jury-men may Dine ; 

The Merchant from th' Exchange returns in Peace, 

And the long Labours of the Toilet cease. 

Belinda now, whom Thirst of Fame invites, 25 

Burns to encounter two adventrous Knights, 

At Ombre singly to decide their Doom ; 

And swells her Breast with Conquests yet to come. 

Straight the three Bands prepare in Arms to join, 

Each Band the number of the Sacred Nine. 30 

Soon as she spreads her Hand, th* Aerial Guard 

Descend, and sit on each important Card : 

First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore, 

Then each, according to the Rank they bore ; 

For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient Race, 35 

Are, as when women, wond'rous fond of Place. 

Behold, four Kings, in Majesty rever'd. 
With hoary Whiskers and a forky Beard ; 
And four fair Queens whose Hands sustain a Flow'r, 
Th' expressive Emblem of their softer Pow'r ; 40 

Four Knaves in Garbs succinct, a trusty Band ; 
Caps on their heads, and Halberds in their hand ; 


And particolour'd Troops, a shining Train, 
Draw forth to combat on the Velvet Plain, 

The skilful Nymph reviews her Force with Care ; 45 

Let Spades be Trumps ! she said, and Trumps they were. 

Now move to War her Sable Matadores, 
In show like Leaders of the swarthy Moors. 
Spadillio first, unconquerable Lord ! 

Let off two captive Trumps, and swept the Board. 50 

As many more Manillio forc'd to yield. 
And march'd a Victor from the verdant Field. 
Him Basto follow'd, but his Fate more hard 
Gain'd but one Trump and one Plebeian card. 
With his broad Sabre next, a Chief in Years, 55 

The hoary Majesty of Spades appears ; 
Puts forth one manly Leg, to sight reveal'd, 
The rest, his many-colour'd Robe conceal'd. 
The Rebel- A'«^z/^, that dares his Prince engage, 
Proves the just Victim of his Royal Rage. 60 

Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'erthrew. 
And mow'd down Armies in the Fights of Lu, 
Sad Chance of War ! now, destitute of Aid, 
Falls undistinguish'd by the Victor Spade ! 

Thus far both Armies to Belinda yield ; 65 



Now to the Baron Fate inclines the Field. 

His warlike Amazon her Host invades, 

Th' Imperial Consort of the Crown of Spades. 

The Club's black Tyrant first her Victim dy'd, 

Spite of his haughty Mien, and barb'rous Pride : 70 

What boots the Regal Circle on his Head, 

His Giant Limbs, in State unwieldy spread ; 

That long behind he trails his pompous Robe, 

And of all Monarchs only grasps the Globe ? 

The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace ; 75 

Th' embroider'd King who shows but half his Face, 
And his refulgent Queen, with Pow'rs combin'd. 
Of broken Troops an easy Conquest find. 
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild Disorder seen, 
With Throngs promiscuous strew the level Green. 80 

Thus when dispers'd a routed Army runs, 
Of Asias Troops, and Africs Sable Sons, 
With like Confusion different Nations fly, 
In various Habits, and of various Dye, 
The pierc'd Battalions dis-united fall, 85 

In Heaps on Heaps ; one Fate o'erwhelms them all. 

The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily Arts, 
And wins (oh shameful Chance !) the Queen of Hearts. 


At this, the Blood the Virgin's Cheek forsook, 

A livid Paleness spreads o'er all her Look ; 90 

She sees, and trembles at th' approaching 111, 

Just in the Jaws of Ruin, and Codille. 

And now (as oft in some distemper'd State) 

On one nice Trick depends the gen'ral Fate, 

An Ace of Hearts steps forth : The King unseen 95 

Lurk'd in her Hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen. 

He springs to Vengeance with an eager Pace, 

And falls like Thunder on the prostrate Ace. 

The Nymph exulting fills with Shouts the Sky ; 

The Walls, the Woods, and long Canals reply. 100 

Oh thoughtless Mortals ! ever blind to Fate, 
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate ! 
Sudden these Honours shall be snatch'd away. 
And curs'd for ever this Victorious Day. 

For lo ! the Board with Cups and Spoons is crown'd, 105 
The Berries crackle, and the Mill turns round ; 
On shining Altars oi Japan they raise 
The silver Lamp, and fiery Spirits blaze : 
From silver Spouts the grateful Liquors glide. 
And China! s earth receives the smoking Tyde. no 

At once they gratify their Scent and Taste, 


While frequent Cups prolong the rich Repast. 

Strait hover round the Fair her Airy Band ; 

Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming Liquor fann'd, 

Some o'er her Lap their careful Plumes display 'd, us 

Trembling, and conscious of the rich Brocade. 

Coffee (which makes the Politician wise. 

And see through all things with his half-shut Eyes) 

Sent up in Vapours to the Barons Brain 

New Stratagems, the radiant Lock to gain. lao 

Ah cease rash Youth ! desist e'er 'tis too late, 

Fear the just Gods, and think of Scyllas Fate ! 

Chang'd to a Bird, and sent to flit in Air, 

She dearly pays for Nisus injur'd Hair! 

But when to Mischief Mortals bend their Will, 125 

How soon they find fit Instruments of 111 ! 
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting Grace 
A two-edg'd Weapon from her shining Case ; 
So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight, 
Present the Spear, and arm him for the Fight. 130 

He takes the Gift with rev'rence, and extends 
The little Engine on his Fingers' Ends; 
This just behind Belinda's Neck he spread 
As o'er the fragrant Steams she bends her Head : 
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprights repair, 133 


A thousand Wings, by turns, blow back the Hair ; 

And thrice they twitch'd the Diamond in her Ear, 

Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the Foe drew near. 

Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought 

The close Recesses of the Virgin's thought ; 140 

As on the Nosegay in her Breast reclin'd, 

He watch'd th' Ideas rising in her Mind, 

Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her Art, 

An Earthly Lover lurking at her Heart. 

Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his Power expir'd, 145 

Resign'd to Fate, and with a Sigh retir'd. 

The Peer now spreads the glittering Forfex wide, 
T' inclose the Lock ; now joins it, to divide. 
Ev'n then, before the fatal Engine clos'd, 
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd; 150 

Fate urged the Sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain, 
(But Airy Substance soon unites again) 
The meeting Points the sacred Hair dissever 
From the fair Head, for ever and for ever ! 

Then flash'd the living Lightnings from her Eyes, 155 
And Screams of Horror rend th' affrighted Skies. 
Not louder Shrieks to pitying Heav'n are cast. 
When Husbands, or when Lapdogs breath their last, 


Or when rich China Vessels, fal'n from high, 

In glitt'ring Dust and painted Fragments lie ! i6o 

Let Wreaths of Triumph now my Temples twine, 
(The Victor cry'd) the glorious Prize is mine ! 
While Fish in Streams, or Birds delight in Air, 
Or in a Coach and Six the British Fair, 
As long as Atalantis shall be read, 165 

Or the small Pillow grace a Lady's Bed, 
While Visits shall be paid on solemn Days, 
When num'rous Wax-lights in bright Order blaze, 
While Nymphs take Treats, or Assignations give. 
So long my Honour, Name, and Praise shall live ! 170 

What Time would spare, from Steel receives its date. 
And Monuments, like Men, submit to Fate ! 
Steel cou'd the Labour of the Gods destroy, 
And strike to Dust th' Imperial Tow'rs of Troy ; 
Steel cou'd the Works of mortal Pride confound, 175 

And hew Triumphal Arches to the Ground. 
What Wonder then, fair Nymph ! thy Hair shou'd feel 
The conqu'ring Force of unresisted Steel ? 


BUT anxious Cares the pensiVe Nymph oppress'd, 
And secret Passions labour'd in her Breast. 
Not youthful Kings in Battle seiz'd alive, 
Not scornful Virgins who their Charms survive, 
Not ardent Lovers robb'd of all their Bliss, $ 

Not ancient Ladies when refus'd a Kiss, 
Not Tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, 
Not Cynthia when her Manteaus pinn'd awry, 
E'er felt such Rage, Resentment, and Despair, 
As Thou, sad Virgin ! for thy ravish'd Hair. lo 

For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew, 
And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, 
Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy Sprite, 
As ever sully'd the fair Face of Light, 
Down to the Central Earth, his proper Scene, 15 

Repair'd to search the gloomy Cave of Spleen. 

Swift on his sooty Pinions flits the Gnome, 


And in a Vapour reach 'd the dismal Dome, 

No cheerful Breeze this sullen Region knows, 

The dreaded East is all the Wind that blows. 20 

Here in a Grotto, shelter'd close from Air, 

And screen'd in Shades from Day's detested Glare, 

She sighs for ever on her pensive Bed, 

Pain at her Side, and Megrim at her Head. 

Two Handmaids wait the Throne : Alike in Place, 25 
But diff'ring far in Figure and in Face. 
Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient Maid, 
Her wrinkled form in Black and White array'd ; 
With store of Pray'rs, for Mornings, Nights, and Noons, 
Her Hand is fill'd ; her Bosom with Lampoons. 30 

There Affectation with a sickly Mien, 
Shows in her Cheek the Roses of Eighteen, 
Practis'd to Lisp, and hang the Head aside, 
Faints into Airs, and languishes with Pride ; 
On the rich Quilt sinks with becoming Woe, 35 

Wrapt in a Gown, for Sickness, and for Show. 
The Fair ones feel such Maladies as these. 
When each new Night- Dress gives a new Disease. 

A constant Vapour o'er the Palace flies ; 
Strange Phantoms rising as the Mists arise ; 40 


Dreadful, as Hermits' Dreams in haunted Shades, 

Or bright, as Visions of expiring Maids. 

Now glaring Fiends, and Snakes on rolling Spires, 

Pale Spectres, gaping Tombs, and Purple Fires : 

Now Lakes of liquid Gold, Elysian Scenes, 45 

And Crystal Domes, and Angels in Machines. 

Unnumber'd Throngs, on ev'ry side are seen, 
Of Bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen. 
Here living Teapots stand, one Arm held out. 
One bent ; the Handle this, and that the Spout : 50 

A Pipkin there like Homer s Tripod walks ; 
Here sighs a Jar, and there a Goose-pye talks ; 
Men prove with Child, as pow'rful Fancy works, 
And Maids turn'd Bottels, call aloud for Corks. 

Safe past the Gnome through this fantastic Band, 55 

A Branch of healing Spleenwort in his Hand. 
Then thus addrest the Pow'r — Hail wayward Queen ; 
Who rule the Sex to Fifty from Fifteen, 
Parent of Vapors and of Female Wit, 

Who give th' Hysteric or Poetic Fit, 60 

On various Tempers act by various ways. 
Make some take Physic, others scribble Plays ; 
Who cause the Proud their Visits to delay. 
And send the Godly in a Pett, to pray. 



A Nymph there is, that all thy Pow'r disdains, 65 

And thousands more in equal Mirth maintains. 

But oh ! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a Grace, 

Or raise a Pimple on a beauteous Face, 

Like Citron- Waters Matrons' Cheeks inflame, 

Or change Complexions at a losing Game ; 70 

If e'er with airy Horns I planted Heads, 

Or rumpled Petticoats, or tumbled Beds, 

Or caus'd Suspicion when no Soul was rude, 

Or discompos'd the Head- Dress of a Prude, 

Or e'er to costive Lap-Dog gave Disease, 75 

Which not the Tears of brightest Eyes could ease : 

Hear me, and touch Belinda with Chagrin ; 

That single Act gives half the World the Spleen. 

The Goddess with a discontented Air 
Seems to reject him, tho' she grants his Pray'r. 80 

A wond'rous Bag with both her Hands she binds. 
Like that where once Ulysses held the Winds ; 
There she collects the Force of Female Lungs, 
Sighs, Sobs, and Passions, and the War of Tongues. 
A Vial next she fills with fainting Fears, 85 

Soft Sorrows, melting Griefs, and flowing Tears. 
The Gnome rejoycing bears her Gift away, 
Spreads his black Wings, and slowly mounts to Day. 


Sunk in Tkalestris Arms the Nymph he found, 
Her Eyes dejected, and her Hair unbound. 90 

Full o'er their Heads the swelling Bag he rent, 
And all the Furies issu'd at the Vent. 
Belinda bums with more than mortal Ire, 
And fierce Tkalestris fans the rising Fire. 
O wretched Maid ! she spread her Hands, and crj^'d, 95 
(While Hampto7is E echoes, wretched Maid reply'd) 
Was it for this you took such constant Care 
The Bodkin, Comb, and Essence to prepare ; 
For this your Locks in Paper-Durance bound. 
For this with tort 'ring Irons wreath'd around ! 100 

For this with Fillets strain'd your tender Head, 
And bravely bore the double Loads of Lead ? 
Gods ! shall the Ravisher display your Hair, 
While the Fops envy, and the Ladies stare ! 
Honour forbid ! at whose unrivall'd Shrine 105 

Ease, Pleasure, Virtue, All, our Sex resign. 
Methinks already I your Tears survey, 
Already hear the horrid Things they say. 
Already see you a degraded Toast, 

And all your Honour in a Whisper lost ! no 

How shall I, then, your hapless Fame defend ? 
'Twill then be Infamy to seem your Friend ! 
And shall this Prize, th' inestimable Prize, 


Expos'd through Crystal to the gazing Eyes, 

And heighten'd by the Diamond's cirding Rays, 115 

On that Rapacious Hand for ever blaze ? 

Sooner shall Grass in Hide-Park Circus grow, 

And Wits take Lodgings in the sound of Bow ; 

Sooner let Earth, Air, Sea, to Chaos fall. 

Men, Monkeys, Lap-dogs, Parrots, perish all ! izo 

She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs, 
And bids her Beau demand the precious Hairs : 
(Sir Plume, of Amber Snuff-box justly vain. 
And the nice Conduct of a Clouded Cane) 
With earnest Eyes and round unthinking Face, 125 

He first the Snuff-box open'd, then the Case, 
And thus broke out — " My Lord, why, what the Devil ! 

" Z ds ! damn the Lock ! 'fore Gad, you must be civil ! 

" Plague on't ! 'tis past a Jest — nay, prithee. Pox ! 

" Give her the Hair" — he spoke, and rapp'd his Box. 130 

It grieves me much (replied the Peer again) 
Who speaks so well shou'd ever speak in vain. 
But by this Lock, this sacred Lock I swear, 
(Which never more shall join its parted Hair ; 
Which never more its Honours shall renew, 135 

Clipp'd from the lovely Head where late it grew) 


That while my Nostrils draw the vital Air, 

This Hand, which won it, shall for ever wear. 

He spoke, and speaking, in proud Triumph spread 

The long-contended Honours of her Head. 140 

But Umbriel, hateful Gnome ! forbears not so ; 
He breaks the Vial whence the Sorrows flow. 
Then see ! the Nymph in beauteous Grief appears, 
Her Eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in Tears ; 
On her heav'd Bosom hung her drooping Head, 145 

Which, with a Sigh, she rais'd ; and thus she said. 

For ever curs'd be this detested Day, 
Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite Curl away ! 
Happy ! ah ten times happy had I been, 
\i Hamptofi-Court these Eyes had never seen ! 150 

Yet am not I the first mistaken Maid, 
By love of Cotcrts to num'rous Ills betray'd. 
Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd 
In some lone Isle, or distant Northern land ; 
Where the gilt Chariot never mark'd the way, 155 

Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea ! 
There kept my Charms conceal'd from mortal Eye, 
Like Roses that in Desarts bloom and die. 
What mov'd my Mind with youthful Lords to rome .■* 


O had I stay'd, and said my Pray'rs at home ! i6o 

'Twas this the Morning Omens did foretel ; 

Thrice from my trembling Hand the Patch-box fell ; 

The tott'ring China shook without a Wind, 

Nay, Poll sate mute, and Shoch was most Unkind ! 

A Sylph too warn'd me of the Threats of Fate, 165 

In mystic Visions, now believ'd too late! 

See the poor Remnants of these slighted Hairs ! 

My Hands shall rend what ev'n thy Rapine spares. 

These, in two sable Ringlets taught to break, 

Once gave new Beauties to the snowy Neck. 170 

The Sister-Lock now sits uncouth, alone, 

And in its Fellow's Fate foresees its own ; 

Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal Sheers demands ; 

And tempts once more thy sacrilegious Hands. 

Oh hadst thou, Cruel ! been content to seize 175 

Hairs less in sight, or any Hairs but these! 


SHE said : The pitying Audience melt in Tears, 
But Fate 2indJove had stopp'd the Barons Ears. 
In vain T/talestris with Reproach assails, 
For who can move when fair Belvida fails ? 
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain, 5 

While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain. 
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her Fan ; 
Silence ensu'd, and thus the Nymph began. 

Say, why are Beauties prais'd and honour'd most. 
The Wise Man's Passion, and the Vain Man's Toast ? 10 
Why deck'd with all that Land and Sea afford. 
Why Angels call'd, and Angel-like ador'd ? 
Why round our Coaches crowd the white-gloved Beaux, 
Why bows the Side-box from its inmost Rows ? 
How vain are all these Glories, all our Pains, 15 

Unless good Sense preserve what Beauty gains : 
That Men may say, when we the Front-box grace, 


Behold the first in Virtue as in Face ! 

Oh! if to dance all Night, and dress all Day, 

Charm'd the Small-pox, or chas'd old Age away ; 20 

Who would not scorn what Housewife's Cares produce. 

Or who would learn one earthly Thing of Use ? 

To patch, nay ogle, might become a Saint, 

Nor could it sure be such a Sin to paint. 

But since, alas ! frail Beauty must decay, 25 

Curl'd or uncurl'd, since Locks will turn to grey ; 

Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade. 

And she who scorns a Man, must die a Maid, 

What then remains but well our Pow'r to use, 

And keep good Humour still whate'er we lose ? 30 

And trust me, dear ! good Humour can prevail. 

When Airs, and Flights, and Screams, and Scolding fail. 

Beauties in vain their pretty Eyes may roll ; 

Charms strike the Sight, but Merit wins the Soul. 

So spoke the Dame, but no Applause ensu'd ; 35 

Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her Prude. 
To Arms, to Arms ! the fierce Virago cries, 
And swift as Lightning to the Combate flies. 
All side in Parties, and begin th' Attack ; 
Fans clap. Silks rustle, and tough Whalebones crack ; 40 
Heroes and Heroins Shouts confus'dly rise, 


And base, and treble Voices strike the Skies. 
No common Weapons in their Hands are found, 
Like Gods they fight, nor dread a mortal Wound. 

So when bold Homer makes the Gods engage, 45 

And heav'nly Breasts with human Passions rage ; 
'Gainst Pallas, Mars ; Latona, Hermes, Arms ; 
And all Olympus rings with loud Alarms. 
Joves Thunder roars, Heav'n trembles all around ; 
Blue Nepttme storms, the bellowing Deeps resound ; 50 
Earth shakes her nodding Tow'rs, the Ground gives way. 
And the pale Ghosts start at the Flash of Day ! 

Triumphant Umbriel on a Sconce's Height 
Clapp'd his glad Wings, and sate to view the Fight, 
Propp'd on their Bodkin Spears the Sprites survey 55 

The growing Combat, or assist the Fray. 

While through the Press enrag'd Thalestris flies, 
And scatters Death around from both her Eyes, 
A Beau and Witling perish'd in the Throng, 
One dy'd in Metaplior, and one in Song. 60 

O cruel Nymph ! a living death I bear, 



Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his Chair. 

A mournful Glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, 

Those eyes are made so killing — was his last : 

Thus on Meander s flow'ry Margin lies 65 

Th' expiring Swan, and as he sings he dies. 

As bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, 
Chloe stepped in, and kill'd him with a Frown ; 
She smil'd to see the doughty Hero slain, 
But at her Smile, the Beau reviv'd again. 70 

Now Jove suspends his golden Scales in Air, 
Weighs the Men's Wits against the Lady's Hair ; 
The doubtful Beam long nods from side to side ; 
At length the Wits mount up, the Hairs subside. 

See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies, 75 

With more than usual Lightning in her Eyes : 
Nor fear'd the Chief th' unequal Fight to try. 
Who sought no more than on his Foe to die. 
But this bold Lord, with manly Strength endu'd, 
She with one Finger and a Thumb subdu'd : 80 

Just where the Breath of Life his Nostrils drew, 


A charge of Snuff \}i\& wily Virgin threw ; 

The Gnomes direct, to ev'ry Atome just, 

The pungent Grains of titillating Dust, 

Sudden, with starting Tears each Eye o'erflows, 85 

And the high Dome re-ecchoes to his Nose. 

Now meet thy Fate, incens'd Belinda cry'd, 
And drew a deadly Bodkin from her Side. 
(The same, his ancient Personage to deck. 
Her great great Grandsire wore about his Neck 90 

In three Seal-Rings ; which after melted down, 
Form'd a vast Buckle for his Widow's Gown : 
Her infant Grandame's Whistle next it grew, 
The Bells she jingled, and the Whistle blew ; 
Then in a Bodkin grac'd her Mother's hairs, 95 

Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.) 

Boast not my Fall (he cry'd) insulting Foe ! 
Thou by some other shalt be laid as low. 
Nor think, to die dejects my lofty Mind. 
All that I dread, is leaving you behind ! 100 

Rather than so, ah let me still survive, 
And burn in Cupid's Flames — but burn alive. 


Restore the Lock ! she cries ; and all around 
Restore the Lock ! the Vaulted Roofs rebound. 
Not fierce Otfiello in so loud a Strain 105 

Roar'd for the Handkerchief that caus'd his Pain. 
But see how oft Ambitious Aims are cross'd, 
And Chiefs contend 'till all the Prize is lost! 
The Lock, obtain'd with Guilt, and kept with Pain, 
In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain : no 

With such a Prize no Mortal must be blest. 
So Heav'n decrees ! with Heav'n who can contest ? 

Some thought it mounted to the Lunar Sphere, 
Since all things lost on Earth, are treasur'd there. 
There Heroe's Wits are kept in pond'rous Vases, 115 

And Beau's in Snuff-boxes and Tweezer-cases. 
There broken Vows, and Death-bed Alms are found, 
And Lovers' Hearts with Ends of Riband bound ; 
The Courtier's Promises, and Sick Man's Pray'rs, 
The Smiles of Harlots, and the Tears of Heirs, 120 

Cages for Gnats, and Chains to Yoak a Flea ; 
Dried Butterflies, and Tomes of Casuistry. 

But trust the Muse — she saw it upward rise, 
Tho' marked by none but quick Poetic eyes : 


(So Rome's great Founder to the Heav'ns withdrew, 125 

To Proculus alone confess'd in view.) 

A sudden Star, it shot through Hquid Air, 

And drew behind a radiant Trail of Hair. 

Not Berenices Locks first rose so bright, 

The Skies bespangHng with dishevel'd Light. 130 

The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies, 

And pleas'd pursue its Progress through the Skies. 

This the Beau-monde shall from the Mall survey, 
And hail with Musick its propitious Ray. 
This the blest Lover shall for Venus take, 135 

And send up Vows from Rosamotidas Lake. 
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless Skies, 
When next he looks through Gallilced s Eyes ; 
And hence th' Egregious Wizard shall foredoom 
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome. 140 

Then cease, bright Nymph ! to mourn the ravish'd Hair 
Which adds new Glory to the shining Sphere ! 
Not all the Tresses that fair Head can boast 
Shall draw such Envy as the Lock you lost. 
For, after all the Murders of your Eye, 145 

When, after Millions slain, yourself shall die ; 



When those fair Suns shall set, as set they must, 
And all those Tresses shall be laid in dust ; 
This Lock, the Muse shall consecrate to fame, 
And 'midst the stars inscribe Belindas Name ! 




Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos ; 

Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. — Mart. 

IT appears by this motto that the following poem was written or 
published at the lady's request. But there are some further circum- 
stances not unworthy relating. Mr. Caryl (a gentleman who was 
secretary to Queen Marj-, wife of James II., whose fortunes he 
followed into France, author of the comedy of Sir Solomon Single, 
and of several translations in Dryden's miscellanies), originally 
proposed the subject to him, in a view of putting to an end, by 
this piece of ridicule, to a quarrel that was risen between two noble 
families, those of Lord Petre and of Mrs. Fermor, on the trifling 
occasion of his having cut a lock of her hair. The author sent it 
to the lady, with whom he was acquainted ; and she took it so well 
as to give about copies of it. That first sketch (we learn from one 
of his letters) was written in less than a fortnight, in 171 1, in two 
Cantos only, and it was so printed ; first, in a miscellany of Bernard 
Lintott's, without the name of the author. But it was received so 
well, that he made it more considerable the next year by the 
addition (5f the machinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five 
Cantos. We shall give the reader the pleasure of seeing in what 
manner these additions were inserted, so as to seem not to be 
added, but to grow out of the poem. 



Ver. 3. Carjl] In the first edition, C 1. 

Ver. 11-12. It was in the first Editions, 

And dwells such Rage in softest Bosoms then. 
And lodge such daring Souls in Little Men ? — P. 
Ver. 13, etc. stood thus in the first Edition, 

Sol through white Curtains did his Beams display. 
And op'd those Eyes which brighter shine than they ; 
S/iock just had giv'n himself the rowzing Shake, 
And Nymphs prepared their Chocolate to take ; 
Thrice the wrought Slipper knock'd against the Ground, 
And striking Watches the tenth Hour resound. — P. 
Ver. 19. Belinda still, etc.] All the Verses from hence to the 
End of the Canto were added afterwards. — P. 

Ver. 54-55. " Quae gratia currdm 

Armorumque fuit vivus, quae cura nitentes 
Pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure repostos." 

Virg. JEn. vi. — P. 
Ver. 108. In tJu clear Mirror] The Language of the Platonists, 
the Writers of the intelligible World of Spirits, etc. — P. 

Ver. 121. And now unveil'd, etc.] The Translation of these 
Verses, containing the Description of the Toilet, by our Author's 
Friend, Dr. Parnell, deserve, for their Humour, to be here inserted. 

" Et nunc dilectum speculum, pro more retectum, 
Emicat in mensa, quae splendet pyxidae densa : 
Turn primum lympha se purgat Candida Nympha, 
Jamque sine menda, ccelestis imago videnda, 
Nuda caput, bellos retinet, regit, implet ocellos. • 
Hac stupet explorans, ceu cultus numen adorans. 
Inferior claram Pythonissa apparet ad aram, 
Fertque tibi caut^, dicatque superbia ! laute 


Dona venusta ; oris, quae cunctis, plena laboris, 
Excerpta explorat, dominamque deamque decorat. 
Pyxide devota, se pandit hie India tota, 
Et tota ex ista transpirat Arabia cista. 
Testudo hie flectit, dum se mea Lesbia pectit ; 
Atque elephas lente te pectit, Lesbia, dente ; 
Hunc maculis noris, nivei jacet ille coloris. 
Hie jacet et mund^ mundus muliebris abunde ; 
Spinula resplendens aeris longo ordine pendens, 
Pulvis suavis odore, et epistola suavis amore. 
Induit arma ergo Veneris pulcherrima virgo, 
Pulchrior in praesens tempus de tempore crescens : 
Jam reparat risus, jam surgit gratia visiis, 
Jam promit cultu miraeula latentia vultu ; 
Pigmina jam miseet, quo plus sua purpura gliscet, 
Et geminans bellis splendet mage fulgor oeellis. 
Stant Lemures muti, nymphae itentique saluti, 
Hie figit zonam, capiti locat ille coronam, 
Haee manicis formam, plicis dat et altera normam ; 
Et tibi vel Betty, tibi vel nitidissima Letty ! 
Gloria faetorum temere eonceditur horum." 

Ver. 145. Tlie busy Sylphs, etc.] Ancient Traditions of the 
Rabbi's relate, that several of the fallen Angels became amorous of 
Women, and particularize some : among the rest Asael, who lay 
with Naamah, the wife of Noah, or of Ham ; and who, continuing 
impenitent, still presides over the women's Toilets. — Bereshi Rabbi 
in Genes, vi. 2. — P. 


Ver. 4. LauncUd on tJie Bosom, etc.] From hence the Poem 
continues, in the first Edition, to ver. 46, 

The rest, the Winds dispers'd in empty Air ; 

all after, to the End of the Canto, being additional. — P. 


Ver. 28. WkA a single hair] In allusion to those lines of 
Hudibras, applied to the same purpose, 

" And tho' it be a two foot Trout, 
'Tis with a single hair pull'd out." — W. 

Ver. 38. In the Second Edition, here followed : 

There lay the Sword-knot Sylvia's hands had sown, 
With Flavians Busk that oft had rapp'd his own : 
A Fan, a Garter, half a Pair of Gloves, etc. 

Ver. 45. T/ie Pow'rs gave Ear] Virg. JEr\. xi. — P. 

Ver. 90. And guard with Arms] The poet was too judicious 
to desire this should be understood as a compliment. He intended 
it for a mere piece of raillery ; such as he more openly pursues on 
another occasion ; when he says, 

" Where's now the Star which lighted Charles to rise ? 
With that which followed Julius to the skies. 
Angels, that watch'd the Royal Oak so well, 
How chanc'd you slept when luckless Sorrel fell ? " — ^W. 

Ver. 105. WlutJur the nymph, etc.] The disaster, which makes 
the subject of this poem, being a trifle, taken seriously ; it natu- 
rally led the Poet into this fine satire on the female estimate of 
human mischances. 


Ver. I. Close by those Meads] The First Edition continues 
from this Line to Ver. 24 of this Canto. — P. 
Ver. II, 12. Originally in the First Edition, 

In various Talk the cheerful Hours they past, 
Of, who was bit, or who capotted last. — P. 

Ver. 24. And the long Labours of the Toilet cease] All that 
follows of the Game at Ombre, was added since the First Edition, 
till Ver. 105, which connected thus, 

Sudden the Board with Cups and Spoons is crown'd. — P. 


Ver. 105. Sudden tJie Board] From hence, the First Edition 
continues to Ver. 134. — P. 

Ver. 122. And think of Scyllds Fate!] Vide Ovid, Metam. 
viii. — P. 

Ver. 134. In the First Edition it was thus, 

As o'er the fragrant Stream she bends her Head. — P. 

Ver. 147. First he expands the glitt'ring Forfex wide, 
T' inclose the Lock ; then joins it to divide : 
The meeting Points the sacred Hair dissever 
From the fair Head, for ever, and for ever ! 

All that is between was added afterwards. — P. 
Ver. 157-8. In the earlier Editions, 

Not louder Shrieks by Dames to Heav'n are cast 
When Husbands, or when Monkeys, breath their last. 

Ver. 163, 170. 

" Dum juga montis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit, 

Semper honos, nomenque tuum, laudesque manebunt." Virg. — P. 

Ver. 165. Ata/antis] A famous book written about that time 
by a woman : full of Court and Party scandal ; and in a loose 
effeminacy of style and sentiment, which well suited the debauched 
taste of the better vulgar. — W. 

Mrs. Manley, the author of it, was the daughter of Sir Roger 
Manley, Governor of Guernsey, and the author of the first volume 
of the famous Turkish Spy, published, from his papers, by Dr. 
Midgley. She was known and admired by all the wits of the times. 
She died in the house of Alderman Barber, Swift's friend ; and was 
said to have been the mistress of the alderman. 

Ver. 177. " I lie quoque eversus mons est, etc. 

Quid faciant crines, cum ferro talia cedant ? " 

Catull. de com. Berenices. 



Ver. I. "At regina gravi," etc. Virg. Aen. iv. 

Ver. II. For that sad Moment'] All the lines from hence to 
the 94th Verse, that describe the House of Spleen, are not in the 
First Edition ; instead, followed only these, 

While her rack'd Soul Repose and Peace requires. 
The fierce Tlialestris fans the rising Fires. 

And continued at the 94th Verse of this Canto. — P. 

Ver. 51. Hornet's Tripod walks] See Horn. Iliad, xviii., of 
Vulcan's walking Tripods. — P. 

Ver. 52. And there a Goose-pye talks] Alludes to a real Fact, 
a Lady of Distinction imagined herself in this Condition. — P. 

Ver. 121. Sir Plume repairs] Sir George Brown. He was 
the only one of the Party who took the thing seriously. He was 
angry that the Poet should make him talk nothing but nonsense ; 
and in truth one could not well blame him. — W. 

Ver. 121. But by this Lock] In allusion to Achilles' Oath in 
Homer, II. i. — P. 

Ver. 141. But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so ; 
He breaks the Vial whence the Sorrows flow. 

These two Lines are additional ; and assign the Cause of the 
different Operation on the Passions of the two Ladies. The Poem 
went on before without that Distinction, as without any Machinery, 
to the end of the Canto. — P. 


Ver. 7. Then grave Clarissa] A new Character introduced 
into the subsequent Editions, to open more clearly the Moral of 
the Poem, in a Parody of the Speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus in 
Homer. — P, 


Ver. 7-37. These lines first occur in the Sth ed. of 1718. 

Ver. 35. So spoke tlie Datne] It is a Verse frequently repeated 
in Homer after any Speech. 

" So spoke and all the heroes applauded." — P. 

Ver. 37. To Arms, to Artns!'\ From hence the First Edition 
goes on to the Conclusion, except a very few short Insertions added, 
to keep the Machinery in View to the End of the Poem. — P. 

Ver. 45. So when bold Homer\ Homer, II. xx. — P. 

Ver. 53. TriumpJiant Umbriel'\ These four Lines are added for 
the Reason before mentioned. 

Minerva in like manner, during the Battle of Ulysses with the 
Suitors in the Odyss., perches on a Beam of the Roof to behold 
it.— P. 

Ver. 64. T/wse Eyes are made so killing] The words of a Song 
in the Opera of Camilla. — P. 

Ver. 65. Thus on Meander's flow' ry Margin lies'] 

" Sic ubi fata vocant, udis abjectus in herbis. 

Ad vada Maeandri concinit albus olor." Ovid. Ep. — P. 

Ver. 71. Now Jove\ Vide Homer, II. viii., and Virg. Aen. 
xii.— P. 

Ver. 83. TJie Gnomes direct] These two Lines added for the 
same Reason. — P. 

Ver. 89. Tlie same, his ancient Personage to deck] In Imitation 
of the Progress of Agamemnon's Sceptre in Homer, II. ii. — P. 

Ver. 114. Since all things lost] Vide Ariosto, Canto xxxiv. — P. 

Ver. 128. " Flammiferumque trahens spatioso limite crinem 
Stella micat." Ovid.— P. 

Ver. 131. TJu Sylphs beJiold] These two Lines added for the 
same Reason, to keep in View the Machinery of the Poem. — P. 

Ver. 137. This Partridge] John Partridge was a ridiculous 
Star-gazer, who, in his Almanac, never failed to predict the Down- 
fall of the Pope, and the King of France, then at War with the 
English. — P. 


Date h 


L. B. Ca 

t. No. 1 1 38